Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl


Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  |  Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


Students on the Master’s degree programme in Linguistics learn to study language and language use in detail. The degree programme focuses on language in practical and social contexts. It includes in-depth teaching in the language of children, the creation of texts and text comprehension, second languages and multilingualism, and ways of describing languages which have not been described in detail before. We also have workshop courses in which you will learn to perform language tasks for other people, and courses in which you will perform research tasks in collaboration with teachers and your fellow students. The teaching and projects will give you systematic training in relevant methods, and you will study and discuss various theoretical approaches. You write your thesis in the final semester. This thesis is an independent project in which you explore a specific topic using methods and theories which you have learnt during the course.

Collaboration, relevance and independence

Right from the start of the degree programme, you will work closely alongside other students, external partners, and teachers and researchers from the department. The projects in which you are involved during the Master’s degree programme are often connected directly to the everyday use of language outside the university. Some students undertake in-depth study abroad on the third semester of the degree programme. But most students do a placement relating to the labour market, giving them the chance to practise their linguistic skills and perhaps collect data for their thesis. Whatever you choose, the third semester is intended to prepare you for the independent thesis in the fourth semester. The thesis can be produced either individually or in groups, but close supervision is always provided by one of the teachers.


Master’s graduates in Linguistics from Aarhus University are experts in language and the importance of language in people’s everyday lives and work. They also have detailed knowledge of methods which can be used in many different jobs: they can carry out interviews, questionnaire surveys, fieldwork, data processing, statistical analyses, conversation analyses, text analyses, text improvements and language assessment. They can also design surveys and assess their validity.

Admission requirements

The Master’s programme in Linguistics is open to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree or a supplementary subject in Linguistics (i.e. minimum 45 ECTS studies in linguistics. For this reason), foreign students must be able to provide full documentary evidence that they have completed a relevant and recognised university degree equivalent to a Danish BA degree in level and contents.

Only students who fulfil these requirements should apply.

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above. 

The Master’s programme is a two-year continuation of the Bachelor’s programme. It expands the students’ knowledge of and skills in the subject of study. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the field of study.

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Linguistics at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Linguistics on the condition that application is made for admission to the Master’s degree programme no later than three years after completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

If there are more academically qualified applicants than places available, each applicant will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic background (counts 75%)
    Based on the amount and quality of BA exams that are relevant to the MA-program.
  2. Other relevant experience (counts 25%)
    Based on Curriculum Vitae and relevance description. See below for more details.


In addition to the general documentation requirements, you must upload the following documentation to your application:

1) Relevance Description

Relevance description is a brief description (1-2 pages) explaining:

- The academic relevance of your Bachelor’s degree programme to the Master’s degree programme

- Which courses from your Bachelor’s degree programme meet the academic requirements for admission to the Master's degree programme. These requirements can be found above.

- Your career plans

2) Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing relevant parts of your education as well as work-related and other experience in chronological order.

You may also attach detailed documentation connected to your resume, such as recommendations, assessments, etc. However, this is not a requirement.

3) If your Bachelor’s degree is not from Aarhus University, you must upload the academic regulations or contents of your study programme or a link pointing to them.

Language Requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of English B (Danish upper secondary school level with a minimum GPA of 3.0).

Read how to document your language qualifications

Programme structure

Academic regulations

The following table shows the structure of the 2011 degree programme. More information about the structure and content can be found in the academic regulations.

Project-oriented work

You can complete project-oriented work during the 3rd semester of your programme. The project gives you an opportunity to use your linguistic skills in a real work context.

The project must be relevant to your degree programme in a broad sense and should preferably also improve your future job prospects. In other words, you have an opportunity to create your own individual competence profile by working on a project which focuses on job and career experience.

You can find much more information about project-oriented work and internships af AUs Job and Project Bank.

Student life

The Master’s degree programme in Linguistics is a full-time course corresponding to 37-40 hours of work a week. Even though you may not have to attend lectures or classes every day, you should expect to spend quite a lot of time preparing for the teaching and meeting your study group.

There are about 100 students of linguistics at Aarhus University, and the study environment is extremely friendly and lively. The students have their own facilities and organise a wide range of academic and social activities. There is also close contact between the teachers and students – not only in the teaching, supervision and project work, but also because the students have the chance to take part in research alongside the academic staff. Here are some of the activities and projects which our students take part in:

  • Lingoland is the students’ own common room, where all the different year groups meet. It’s a place for studying, talking, relaxing, reading and simply hanging out.
  • ViGør: This is a student committee that hosts a range of social events every Friday, including a variety of lectures and what they call “student stories” and “Lingospilledage”. 
  • DanTIN is a group of researchers consisting of students, PhD students and researchers. They run samtalegrammatik.dk, as well as carrying out research and giving presentations about grammar in conversational Danish.
  • KOMMABAR is a Friday bar for everyone involved in the study of linguistics and Scandinavian language and literature at AU.
  • Linguistic Mythbusters: This is a club of students who visit libraries and schools and give lectures about myths and misunderstandings relating to linguistic issues.

Keep an eye on all the academic activities going on at the Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics.


Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.

You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here.

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus. Read more about the study environment at Aarhus University.  

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city’s population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many events that enable you to experience the Danish culture.

Why choose Aarhus? See studyguide.au.dk and get all practical information about being an international student. 

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2016 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Job profile

Graduates with a Master’s degree in Linguistics have detailed insight into all aspects of oral and written language, as well as great understanding of information structures. And this can lead to a career as a software developer or web designer, for instance in connection with e-learning programmes for language teaching or dialogue and chat systems. A number of linguists work with internal and external communication, for instance as information and project officers. You will also gain great insight into how languages are learnt, so you can also choose a career as a teacher – for instance as a second-language consultant or teacher at language schools or university colleges, or for people with language learning difficulties. You can also work with research in the field of linguistics and apply for admission to the university’s PhD programme.

A Master’s degree in Linguistics equips you to:

  • Quickly understand language and grammar and apply linguistic theory to linguistic data.
  • Work with many different types of text, analysing everything from fiction to advertising texts based on linguistic theory and method.
  • Express yourself correctly both orally and in writing, as well as solving linguistic problems (for instance in teaching situations).

Career paths

You can find inspiration for potential career paths in the Arts Career alumnus portraits of Master’s graduates from the Faculty of Arts. You can also gain an impression of possible jobs as a linguist in the Arts Career job inspiration catalogue.